Israel's war cabinet has given the go-ahead for a ground invasion in Gaza as tensions escalate in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. This decision comes after failed hostage negotiations and unanimous approval from senior ministers. The Israeli military, which already has troops and tanks on the ground in Gaza, has intensified its aerial bombardment, unleashing strikes of "unprecedented" intensity. Palestinians in the besieged strip have been left without electricity and communication as essential services and NGOs struggle in the blackout. Despite political divisions and public hesitations, Israel's offensive aims to dismantle Hamas and its military machine in Gaza.
The ground invasion has been met with resistance both domestically and internationally. Some politicians in Israel have differing opinions on objectives and strategies, while nearly half of the Israeli public believes waiting would be a better approach. The potential for a second front with Hezbollah in Lebanon, along with the threat of a protracted war of attrition in Gaza, has further complicated the decision-making process. Amid the ongoing conflict, concerns have been raised about the humanitarian consequences, as international organizations express worry about the loss of communication and resources in Gaza.
As the situation intensifies, both the IDF and Hamas are engaging in fierce fighting. The Israeli military has unleashed airstrikes and artillery fire, targeting underground terrorist infrastructure and Hamas-controlled facilities. Hamas, in turn, fired rockets towards Israel. The Israeli military's spokesperson highlighted the use of hospitals by Hamas for military operations, a claim Hamas denies, while an Israeli video revealed tunnels under Gaza's biggest hospital that serve as a Hamas terror base. The IDF has warned that Gaza hospitals being used for such activities may lose the protections granted to them under international law.
The international community is urgently calling for a humanitarian truce, with the UN General Assembly approving a resolution for an immediate ceasefire and the release of captives. However, Israel's ambassador to the UN criticized the resolution, accusing the UN of supporting terrorists. The United States, while expressing support for Israel, has also called for a temporary pause in military operations to allow for the delivery of aid and supplies to Gaza. The situation remains volatile, and fears of a "humanitarian catastrophe" grow as the conflict rages on.